Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin

Supporters of Dream Act to meet at Latta’s office

(Submitted by La Conexion Immigrant Solidarity Committee) What: The La Conexion Immigrant Solidarity Committee is calling for a day of action on Monday, November 20th to urge Rep. Bob Latta to support the passage of the Dream Act (S.B 1615 &H.R. 3440). Supporters will be meeting with Rep. Latta’s office as well as making phone calls to his Bowling Green office to deliver our message.When: Monday, Nov. 20, at 11 a.m.Who: The La Conexion Immigrant Solidarity Committee is joining with United We Dream ( who are calling on allies and partners around the country to make constituent visits to their members of Congress over the Thanksgiving session break. This visit will be a follow up from our previous two visits to the Representative’s office in which we delivered letters and signatures, collected at our “Lights on for Dreamers” rally, which expressed the need for a legislative solution for those impacted by the administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September. About: The Dream Act  (SB 1615, HR 3440) was first introduced in Congress in 2001, but since that time has been re-introduced, revised, and updated to include bi-partisan provisions which ensure that this bill finds a real solution for Dreamers, but also satisfies security and stability concerns. It allows undocumented people who were brought to this country as children by their parents, to find a path to full legal status through gainful employment, higher education, or through military service. Here in Ohio, DACA recipients…

Start time for Holiday Parade moved up to 9:30 a.m.

The new start time for the Bowling Green Holiday Parade on Saturday, Nov. 18, is 9:30 a.m. The decision to move forward with the parade at 9:30 a.m. is based on the weather forecast providing a window of drier weather. The parade organizers wish to take advantage of this earlier start, to enable the community to enjoy the annual tradition.  Should the weather pattern change and a cancellation is warranted, please go to the chamber’s social media and BG Independent News. Due to the 9:30 a.m. start time, street closures and procedures will commence one-half hour earlier.  Parade units are to arrive one-half hour earlier than originally scheduled.  Volunteers are to arrive one-half hour earlier than originally assigned.

Park district turned off by plan for electric lines along trail

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County Park District Board members aren’t exactly charged up about a request from American Electric Power. The electric company has approached the park district about getting an easement for a new line along the Slippery Elm Trail near North Baltimore. The request covers the strip of land on the west side of the trail from Quarry Road to Broadway Street, where the trail starts in North Baltimore. Wood County Park District Director Neil Munger listed several concerns about giving an easement for the power lines. First, it would mean the loss of most if not all the vegetation and trees on the west side of the trail. Second, Munger has concerns about poles being installed right next to the trail. And third, the southernmost section of the Slippery Elm Trail would likely need to be closed to users during construction. Park board chairman Denny Parish said the district does not have to approve the request from American Electric Power. It is unknown if AEP can use eminent domain for the project. The board suspected that AEP is asking the park district for an easement because it would be easier than dealing with several different landowners along different routes. Munger said the high transmission lines will be on 80-foot poles, which are about twice the height of standard poles for electric lines. Board member John Calderonello pointed out that the lack of a vegetation wind barrier will make that portion of the…

What’s happening in your community (updated Nov. 21)

 NEWLY POSTED: Voices & brass to present “Joyous Sounds,” Nov. 28 The University Choral Society and the Bowling Green State University Brass Quintet will perform a free program, “Joyous Sounds: A Yuletide Celebration,” Tuesday evening, November 28 at 7:00, at the First United Methodist Church of Bowling Green. In the one-hour program the 60-voice Choral Society will sing alone some, the quintet will play alone some, and they will combine for Daniel Pinkham’s “Christmas Cantata.” The audience will also be invited to sing along on a few traditional carols, and a special arrangement of “Silent Night” will be performed.  The public is invited to attend the program which is free of charge.   NEWLY POSTED: Four Corners Center hosts holiday event, Dec. 1 Join  the Four Corners Organizations at the Four Corners Center, 130 S. Main St.   Friday, December 1 from 5-7 p.m. for a holiday evet with fundraising fun and holiday spirits. A stuffed stocking raffle will be held with holiday gift themed filled stockings that will be the perfect gift for that special someone with the proceeds going to Winterfest BG Chillabration.  Four beautifully decorated holiday charity trees will also be given away at the event with the proceeds going to the Christmas Elves, United Way and BG Parks & Recreation.  The winners of the Holiday Tree Decorating Competition between BGSU Omega Phi Alpha Sorority and Beta Chi Fraternity will also be announced. The Four Corners have two pre-light trees donated by Wal-Mart that will be trimmed to help…

Dental office plans annual bake sale and raffle to help local families

(Submitted by Phipps, Levin & Hebeka) The 10th annual  Phipps, Levin & Hebeka Dentistry bake sale and raffle will be held Nov. 22, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the conference room of the medical building at Wood County Hospital, near Jak’s Pharmacy. All proceeds from the bake sale and raffle will benefit the Salvation Army and local families in need.

Pemberville plans Christmas in the Village, lighted parade

(Submitted by Pemberville Freedom Area Historical Society) Hometown holiday hospitality will prevail as Pemberville hosts its annual Christmas in the Village ~ Saturday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 26. Festivities are scheduled from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday and from 12 – 6 p.m. Sunday. Pemberville’s fifth annual Lighted Christmas Parade will be the grand finale event, stepping-off Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Following the parade will be the village Christmas Tree Lighting at Mason Park with Santa Claus. Pemberville’s annual celebration will coincide with this year’s “National Shop Small” Promotion. Pemberville has an array of “small businesses” that exemplify this endeavor of buying local. Pemberville’s historic Opera House will be the setting for this year’s Festival of Trees entitled “The Magic of Christmas.” This year’s theme will be depicted by fourteen decorators, with each tree showcasing decorations inspired by the theme. New this year, will be a beautiful display of tablescapes decorated for the season. Additionally, locals have donated decorated trees (four feet or smaller) for a silent auction with all proceeds benefitting the Historical Society. This year’s trees, tablescapes and silent auction trees will be creatively displayed with local musicians performing holiday selections. Admission is $5 per person (children are free with paid adult admission) with proceeds benefiting the Pemberville-Freedom Area Historical Society. Tickets for this annual fundraiser are available at the door and include complimentary refreshments, the chance to “vote” for your favorite tree and be entered in the grand prize drawing. The Historical Society will also…

BG gives leaf collection update

Bowling Green Public Works leaf collection crews have made their first pass through Ward 3 and are now working through Ward 4.  They will be moving into wards 1 and 2 next week.  Crews will continue to work through the city sequentially by ward. Questions about leaf collection may be directed to public works at 419-354-6227.

‘Dealing with the Holiday Blues’ help offered

(Submitted by NAMI Wood County) NAMI Wood County is presenting “Dealing with the Holiday Blues,” on Dec. 11, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the Wood County Historical Center and Museum, 13660 County Home Road, Bowling Green. Join Aeryn Williams, from Family Service of Northwest Ohio as she discusses: Not feeling alone. Coping mechanisms. Resources. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP at 419-352-0626. More information is available at

Park district hands out grants to 11 community parks

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Thirty years ago as the Wood County Park District worked to pass its first levy, a promise was made to share the wealth with community parks throughout the county. That promise has been kept, and continued again this week as the park board approved $100,000 in grants to 11 Wood County communities. Over the years, the grants have helped municipalities add to park playgrounds and repair shelter houses – expenses many smaller towns could not afford on their own. The grants have also been used by several communities to make their parks more accessible to people with disabilities. Following is a list of those communities approved for grants for 2018, the projects funded, and the amounts approved: Bloomdale – $4,157 for six picnic tables with two being ADA compliant. Bowling Green – $4,332 for a scaler tunnel net on a playground. Bradner – $2,479 for an 8-inch balance beam and merry-go-round. Custar – $6,900 for a sway bench and rain garden. Cygnet – $7,835 for ADA sidewalk, and $1,176 for safety surfacing. North Baltimore – $9,873 for safety surfacing, and $4,999 for shelter house roof replacement. Pemberville – $6,150 for shelter house conversion, and $2,485 for safety surfacing. Perrysburg – $10,000 for shade structure for ballfields, and $1,949 for porch swing bench. Walbridge – $14,372 for new basketball court. West Millgrove – $9,991 for swing set and safety surfacing, and $4,997 for trash containers and safety surfacing. Weston – $8,305 for two…

BG Middle School earns state ‘Momentum Award’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City School District has taken some heat for low scores on the state’s testing. But the State Board of Education has notified the Bowling Green Middle School that it will be receiving an award for student growth in reading and math. Now in its third year, the “Momentum Award” is the state board’s effort to recognize districts that have received “A”s on each Value-Added measure included on Ohio’s school report cards. That means the middle school’s report card for the 2016-2017 school year showed students made greater than expected growth in reading and math. That’s a big deal, according to Principal Eric Radabaugh. “It really is meaningful for our school,” Radabaugh said Wednesday afternoon. The “A” grade means that Bowling Green Middle School students made more progress over the year than most other students in Ohio. “To me the most important measure of a school is the growth from one year to the next,” the principal said. “We are honored to receive the award.” Radabaugh praised teachers for making the difference. “I credit our dedicated staff,” he said. The teachers use a team approach. “We have a learning environment where teachers share ideas of what’s working and what’s not working.” Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci was pleased with the state recognition for efforts at the middle school. “This is another example of the great things happening in our district,” Scruci said. “We as a district are pleased and proud of…

BG man reportedly tries to cut his throat while being arrested for child porn

A Bowling Green man being arrested for allegedly having child pornography on his cell phone reportedly grabbed a knife during his arrest and tried to cut his throat. Ralph Duchacek, 53, owner of Reliable Taxi in the 600 block of Sand Ridge Road, Bowling Green, was arrested Sunday after his girlfriend notified police that he had nude photographs of minor girls on his cell phone, according to Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick. During the arrest, Duchacek reportedly grabbed an exacto knife and tried to cut his throat. His injury was minor and he was checked out on the scene by Bowling Green EMS, Hetrick said. Duchacek was charged with pandering obscenity involving a minor and was taken to the Wood County Justice Center.

BG school board to revisit levy options next month

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Board of Education is giving itself one month to heal from the school bond issue defeat – then it’s back to the drawing board. At Tuesday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Francis Scruci said defeat of the 6-mill levy was “disappointing.” But on the morning after the election, the focus had to shift – there were still 3,100 students to educate, he said. Scruci suggested the school board take a break from levy discussions, then reconvene in December to consider the district’s next steps. He also asked that newly elected board member Norm Geer be present during those discussions. Though the loss of the levy by 550 votes was discouraging, Scruci said he was most dismayed by the discourse from the levy opposition. “The most disappointing part was how divisive it became and how personal attacks occurred,” he said. The levy would have paid for the construction of a centralized elementary building north of the middle school, and an addition and renovations to the existing high school building. Scruci has stated that the district will not come back with a watered-down version – since that won’t meet students’ needs. But next month, the discussions will begin of where the district goes from here. “We have a difficult decision going forward,” Scruci said. Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board hired Cathy Schuller as the new district treasurer. Schuller, who is currently the assistant treasurer at Rossford school district, will be taking the…

DeWine serves up campaign for governor at Campus Pollyeyes

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As Mike DeWine worked the tables at Campus Pollyeyes, he had one question. “What’s the best thing to eat here?” He got one response from his fellow Republicans waiting to greet the gubernatorial candidate. “The breadsticks.” DeWine, Ohio’s attorney general, is shifting into high gear for the governor’s race to be decided next fall. Tuesday morning he started with breakfast in Mayfield Heights, followed by pie in Amherst, then showed up for pizza in Bowling Green. Early campaigning can probably be forgiven, since there are already three other Republicans in the governor’s race, including Secretary of State Jon Husted, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, and Rep. Jim Renacci. Even before DeWine’s arrival at Pollyeyes, some of those present had already picked him as their top choice. “I like the fact that he has a plan on the opioid epidemic, and he’s ready to go,” David Jenkins said as he dug into a calzone. Jenkins, who is treasurer of the BGSU College Republicans, is part of the voting population that needs to get excited about the next election, said George Nicholson, whose son runs Campus Pollyeyes. “I think it’s wonderful he’s coming here,” Nicholson said about DeWine. “It’s a good thing for us and a good thing for the College Republicans.” David Kuebeck, co-chair of DeWine’s campaign in Wood County, is already sold on the attorney general. “He’s the most experienced candidate by far,” Kuebeck said, listing off DeWine’s past roles as U.S. senator,…

BG Board of Education hires new treasurer

The Bowling Green Board of Education voted Tuesday evening to hire Cathy Schuller as the new district treasurer. She will fill the position held by Rhonda Melchi, who is retiring after 22 years. Schuller, who lives in Perrysburg, is currently the assistant treasurer for Rossford Exempted Village School District. With about 1,600 students, Rossford is about half the size of the Bowling Green district, she said. But there are similarities between the districts, Schuller noted, such as the capital campaigns run in both districts.

Influenza cases increasing in Wood County – Health district offers flu shots, prevention tips

People are becoming sick with influenza, a disease most people can avoid by getting a flu shot and using basic prevention tips, according to the Wood County Health District. Every flu season is different, and the flu can affect people differently. Millions of people get the flu each year, while hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands more die from flu-related causes. Flu season typically lasts until April or May. Now is a good time to get a flu shot if you haven’t already, because they take about two weeks to become effective. The flu vaccine does not cause influenza, which is a contagious respiratory illness that infects the nose, throat and lungs. Some people may experience short-term symptoms like drowsiness or nausea after receiving a flu shot. The CDC recommends that anyone over 6 months of age get a flu shot. Most people can get a flu shot simply by walking into their pharmacy, and Wood County Health District offers them to patients of its Community Health and Wellness Center. Children over 6 months are supposed to receive a flu shot but should see their primary care provider first. Wood County Health District will give flu shots to children 18 or under if their provider does not offer them. Frequent handwashing is one of the best ways to avoid acquiring or transmitting any illness, including influenza. Also make sure to disinfect surfaces at home and at work, cough and sneeze into your sleeve, and avoid touching your…